1-4 | Jesus warns the disciples
5-11 | The Holy Spirit’s role in the world
12-15 | The Spirit will guide disciples into the truth
16-22 | Jesus foretells His death and resurrection and the disciple’s anguish
23-24 | Jesus promises to answer prayer requests
25-28 | Jesus came from and is returning to the Father
29-33 | Jesus foretells the testing of the disciple’s faith and their dispersion
This is the last of three chapters in which Jesus is giving His final instructions to the disciples prior to His arrest, trial, crucifixion, death, burial and resurrection. He introduces the idea of sending the Spirit in chapter 14 but expands it here to explain what Its role will be in the world and the lives of the disciples.
In relation to the world, the Spirit is to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. Why these three things? As Jesus explains it, those were the same things that Jesus was convicting the world of while He was physically present. So the Sprit will assume those duties when Jesus ascends to heaven to return to the Father in anticipation of His second coming.
In relation to the disciples, the Spirit will help the disciples remember everything that Jesus said (from 14:25-26). Additionally, whatever the Spirit reveals He will receive it from the Father through the Son to Their glory (16:12-15).
There are many ways that this can be done, but the most prominent is through the written word, the Holy Bible. Why do I say that? Consider these verses (underlining added).
2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Ephesians 6:13-17 NASB Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, HAVING GIRDED YOUR LOINS WITH TRUTH, and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, 15 and having shod YOUR FEET WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Hebrews 3:7-11 NASB Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, “TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, 8 DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME, AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS, 9 WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me BY TESTING Me, AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS. 10 “THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION, AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART, AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’; 11 AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, ‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'”
Hebrews 4:12-13 NASB For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
Isaiah 55:10-11 NASB “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it bear and sprout, And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; 11 So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
Zechariah 7:12 NASB “They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.
Sometimes we like to assume it is our responsibility to do the work of the Holy Spirit for Him rather than letting God’s Word speak into the lives of the reader all on its own and accomplish what God sent it to do. God’s Word never fails and always accomplishes what it was sent to do.
Jesus is no longer physically in the world but we have the Eternal Word of God, faithfully written by over 40 authors and over a time span of 1500 years, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and then compiled and made available to men to allow the Holy Spirit to do His work of convicting the world concerning sin, righteousness, and judgment.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. You commanded faithful men through the ages to record Your thoughts, promises, commands, judgments, and blessings so that Your Spirit can guide us into all truth and lead along the narrow way. We pray that Your Spirit will do the work You’ve sent Him to do and that we will be blessed in reading, studying, meditating on, and memorizing it and transform our minds so that we can live to honor You. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
A devotional for John 16.
|Date:||August 3, 2015|